Monday, January 25, 2016

Ribeye Burgers

I am so sore right now. I started exercising last week (to get warmed up for an impromptu trip I'm taking this weekend) which is actually really good because I suspect I'd be much more achy if I hadn't done anything at all. Anyway, I basically spent the weekend shoveling and napping, as there wasn't much else to do. Saturday morning, I woke up to blustery winds swirling snow all over the yard. My sister and I got dressed and shoveled our walkway and the driveway. A few hours later, we had to go out and do it all over again. Luckily by evening, the storm passed. Sunday morning, we went out for one last clean up and then the sun shone all day and melted enough of the snow to clear off the roads.

I was a little peeved by the timing of the snow (I was hoping to get a snow day off from work) but I was glad that we were snug at home without a need to go out. The storm was pretty terrible and I was happy to be safe indoors (minus the hour or two we spent shoveling). And honestly, I'm grateful that I had a reason to exercise because I've felt pretty cooped up lately. I really despise winter and I know George Michael loved prancing in the snow and getting outdoors too.

Anyway, it's comfort food season and I've been really into burgers. The few times I've gone out for lunch during work this past month, I've ordered burgers. I feel like they're my default comfort food. During my Christmas kitchen shopping spree, I bought a meat grinder attachment for my new stand mixer. And of course, I christened it by making some amazing burgers.

I wasn't sure what kind of meat to go with so I just went to the market to browse and make an impromptu decision. Because I'm not the biggest fan of ultra lean meats I didn't want to use something too boring like sirloin. Short ribs were too expensive, skirt steak seemed to sinewy, and I didn't think chuck would offer much flavor. Then, I found a pair of amazing looking ribeye steaks and I was sold.
I basically recreated my stacked burger recipe and it was honestly the most decadent burger I've ever had. To offset the decadence a smidge (and to give some crunch and vegetation to the meal) we had a lightly dressed Caesar salad.

This isn't going to follow the usual format of my posts. Instead, I'm going to walk through the steps I took to use my meat grinder and to assemble some of the best burgers ever.

Taking the advice of everyone who has ever ground meat at home before me, I popped the equipment in the freezer an hour before I started grinding.
I also cubed the meat into 1" pieces and trimmed the fat (to also grind, not to discard) and popped the tray into the freezer for about 20 minutes before I was ready to grind. And, I trimmed off any sinewy bits (to discard).
While the meat and grinder attachment were chilling, I made a batch of brioche dough.
The grinder attachment easily slipped into the machine and I started with a few cubes of meat to test the waters. When I saw little red snakes escaping the blade, I felt successful enough to add more aggressive amounts of meat to the grinder.
Once I felt more comfortable, I started feeding in the pieces of trimmed fat. Having read some horror stories of the machines clogging up, I was a little apprehensive but I didn't experience any difficulties.
I divided the freshly ground ribeye into 6 ounce portions and formed perfect little patties. Each patty was seasoned generously with salt and pepper. I read that you shouldn't season the beef prior to forming the patties because the salt messes with the proteins and binds them, yielding a texture similar to sausage.
After prepping all of the toppings, I heated up a pan and cooked the patties to medium doneness.
I assembled the burgers with special sauce, a pile of grated cheese (which ended up melting right onto the finished patty, perfect), bacon, tomato, sauteed onion, tomato, and pickle chips.
This was a serious burger. And I know that the patty itself was so awesome, it could have just been the beef and bread, but I loved how extravagant this burger turned out. I have a feeling I might reserve burger dinners for weekends only, so that I can have time to grind my own beef. It's really that good and worthwhile.
xoxo.

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